Truck driver had 'blacked out' twice before fatal crash

Jayne Stinson

The truck driver who killed a woman at Murray Bridge had collapsed twice behind the wheel before the fatal crash, an Adelaide court has heard.

A doctor has testified that Kenneth Pillar confessed to previously collapsing behind the wheel, including once with his daughter in the truck.

Pillar claims he blacked out for the crash that claimed the life of Mary Dowdell.

Pillar in hospital with his partner. Source: 7 News

Newly released police video shows Pillar phoning family and friends straight after the crash, telling them he’d blacked out.

“Yeah mate, I’ve just killed someone,” he says.

“I don’t know whether I’m guilty. I don’t know what happened.”

Pillar is seen in police video on the phone after the crash. Source: 7 News
Crash victim Mary Dowdell. Source: 7 News

The vision upset Ms Dowdell’s family, who were in court to hear how Pillar showed no sympathy for the 61-year-old victim.

Instead, he is concerned about a conviction and the damage to his rig.

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The horrific crash scene. Source: 7 News

“The cabin and that is alright, but the car’s sitting underneath it. The back axle will be ripped out of the trailer,” he said.

The vision also shows Pillar's girlfriend Belinda with him throughout the phone calls.

Prosecutors say she's only backed up his claims "after" the videos were taken.

The court heard Pillar had a mild lung condition, but when the judge asked if blacking out was a symptom, an expert said “no, it’s very unusual”.

Pillar continued to apparently black out in the dock on Thursday, including three times in just six minutes.

Pillar collapsed outside court on Monday. Source: 7 News

It comes after the truck driver dramatically fainted at least 10 times inside and outside the courthouse before violently charging at the waiting media on Monday.

Pillar’s trial continues.